I believe I wrote this for a poetry competition relating to the three East Midlands cities of Derby, Nottingham and Leicester. I didn’t win but I do remember putting a lot of effort and research into it, so it seems worth an airing. I originally entitled it, ‘A Tale of Three Cities’ but then changed it.
One time strollers from ancient parks
where Evans trod and Strutt brought
crowds to revel in his generous gift
now lured by an eagle sent to enrich,
or to outwit Habershon’s Guild Hall?
Gossip once overheard in still waters
now lingers on the Wall’s frame of casino
city living, hotel holiday, bars and ugly
concretised college, whilst talk as you walk
people give in to pointless conversation.
Snotta may ponder the loss of his village
where middle-age castle was built and
re-built to gaze confused by shop mania
mad dash Maid Marion traffic – road rage
obliterating lace-makers and fletchers.
Derby, Leicester, Notts – vagrant’s triangle
toured in alco-slumbered haze
with stags and hens, curry and culture
then fried ‘til cooked.
© Liz MacKenzie